In its default state, Virgin Media blocks access to websites and services, including many VPNs using it's “child safe” filter. Also, when Virgin Media users subscribe to certain VPNs, they sometimes experience an inability to log in to the VPN app using their credentials. This can be a massive source of confusion and frustration.
In this guide, we explain which VPN providers are guaranteed to work on Virgin Media, even in its default state. We will explain why Virgin Media subscribers have trouble accessing VPN websites, and we will guide you through updating your Virgin Media account so you can log in to any VPN app.
Below you can take a quick look at a choice of premium VPNs you can log into on any Virgin Media account, even in its default filtered state. For more information, please scroll down for in-depth summaries about each provider.
ExpressVPN is a secure provider based in the British Virgin Islands. This puts the provider well out of reach of invasive jurisdictions like the UK and the USA. In addition to its preferable location choice, the VPN provides a solid no logs policy – which means that it never holds any records of what its subscribers do when connected to the VPN. This means that even if Express is ever served a warrant, it will have no data to pass to the authorities.
Although ExpressVPN’s website is blocked on all default UK Virgin Media accounts, you can actually log in without issues once you have installed its software.
The software provides a lot of high-end features such as VPNOnlineFree encryption, a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and obfuscation. It also unblocks sought after international services such as Netflix US, hulu, HBO Go, Crunchyroll, and much more. And if you go on vacation outside of the UK, you will be able to access BBC iPlayer, BT Sports, ITV Hub and any other UK subscription services you have paid for. We love that this VPN has apps for all platforms, and that it has 24/7 live chat support.
And even if you can’t get the filters on your Virgin Media account lifted for some reason (an annoying landlord, for example), this VPN will allow you to bypass those restrictions once you have installed its apps on your devices. A superb VPN that you can test using its 30-day money-back guarantee.
Surfshark has only been available on the market for a few short years. In that time, however, it has quickly gained a reputation for providing one of the best cost-to-performance ratios available on the market. Once you have subscribed and downloaded the VPN software, you will be able to login – even on a filtered Virgin Media default account.
Surfshark has apps for all platforms that are extremely easy to use and once connected you will be able to access torrent sites like Pirate Bay, restricted streaming sites like Putlockers, and geo-restricted international services like Netflix US, hulu, and BBC iPlayer. Surfshark is a VPN service that represents exceptional value for money.
The VPN can be installed and used on an unlimited number of devices, which makes it great for students living in a shared house or for larger families. The apps are fully featured with VPNOnlineFree encryption, a kill switch, and obfuscation. As a result, you can trust the privacy you get with this VPN and you can use your account to torrent safely.
We also love the 24/7 live chat you get with this VPN. You can give Surfshark a test run using its 30-day money-back guarantee. A truly spectacular VPN that is hard to beat considering the low costs involved.
CyberGhost is a VPN that is often referred to as a great VPN for beginners. This is because it has apps for all platforms with an extremely low learning curve. Admittedly, CyberGhost is not as feature-packed as some other VPNs on the market. This may put some people off. However, the reality is that the features it has are what most consumers need, making it a no-fuss service that will likely suit you.
Where privacy is concerned this VPN does not skimp. It has a zero logs policy, and it implements strong VPNOnlineFree encryption and a kill switch. This means you can use it to access content without ISP or government tracking. It will also keep your data secure on public WiFi.
Although CyberGhost’s website is blocked by default on Virgin Media, its app will let you login without issues – which is great news. Plus this VPN can unblock Netflix US, Prime Video, hulu, YouTube videos, and other geo-restricted content. We think CyberGhost offers fantastic value for money, particularly with a 24 month subscription. And you can test it risk-free thanks to its generous 45-day money-back guarantee.
VyprVPN is a secure provider based in Switzerland. That is a location that is considered strong in terms of privacy because the government does not impose any mandatory data retention directives. In addition to being out of reach of invasive jurisdictions such as the UK and the US, VyprVPN implements a strong zero-logs policy. This ensures that it never stores any details about what its consumers do online.
Since it has apps for all platforms that implement strong VPNOnlineFree encryption, it can be trusted to conceal your web browsing habits from all local network administrators and from Virgin Media (or other ISPs). With VyprVPN, we have never encountered any issues logging into the clients while on Virgin Media, so as long as you can get on the website and subscribe (you may need to do this using a free proxy like StartPage if you are using a filtered default account) – then you should be able to log in and use the VPN once it is installed on your devices.
We like VyprVPN because it provides a fully featured VPN that is suitable for streaming and torrenting. Plus, its servers in 70 countries are known to unblock sought after services like Netflix US, BBC iPlayer, hulu, and much more. Finally, you can test this VPN using its 30-day money-back guarantee.
PrivateVPN is a provider that is often praised by consumers around the world. It is a relatively cheap service considering what you get, and its apps will allow you to log in and begin using the service even on a default Virgin Media account.
With Private VPN you get servers in over 50 countries to allow you to unblock anything you desire. And this VPN is notorious for being able to unblock more international Netflix catalogs than any other service. We love this VPN’s live chat support, which can help you iron out any problems.
When it comes to privacy, this VPN is fantastic because of its zero-logs policy. It also implements important features such as a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and obfuscation. This ensures that the VPN is suitable for sensitive tasks such as torrenting. We are always impressed by this VPN and it is easy to see why it gets so much praise from consumers. Definitely worth testing using its 30-day money-back guarantee.
Why is ISP tracking on behalf of the government a problem?
Your web browsing habits reveal many things about you and they allow whoever accesses that information to make deeply personal secondary inferences about you.
Web browsing history can reveal information about your:
- Health status
- Religious beliefs
- Sexual orientation
- Political affiliations
- Daily habits and movements
Data experts agree that the sum of this information – known as Big Data – can be used to destroy your privacy and encroach on your human rights. The level of information that can be extracted from your web browsing habits is believed to hold the capacity to lead to prejudice, discrimination, and even a loss of opportunities.
For this reason, it is vital for consumers to protect their digital footprint not just from their ISP and the government, but also from the websites and businesses they visit online. A VPN is, therefore, a valuable tool for Virgin Media users who do not want their ISP and the British government to place them under constant surveillance.
How can I visit the VPN’s website?
Since 2014, the UK government has published guidelines that permit ISPs to engage in website filtering on all new internet subscriptions. This is done to ensure that even if parents forget to implement child blocks, children are protected against accessing adult websites and content that is considered inappropriate for minors (sexually explicit, violent, or dangerous). Below is a list of the kinds of websites that UK ISPs filter on brand new internet accounts:
- Pornography and nudity
- Suicide and self harm
- Hate speech
- File sharing
- Anonymising services like Tor and VPNs
The default child filters that come with a brand new Virgin Media account block access to anonymization and obfuscation services like VPNs. This stops you from visiting the VPN’s website to get a subscription. The good news is that you can contact Virgin Media to remove those filters. This is, by far, the best way to remove the blocks on your account, and we strongly recommend all Virgin Media users to proceed in this manner (rather than putting up with an unnecessarily restricted account).
Alternatively, you can use a free proxy service like StartPage to access the website and get a subscription. To access a VPN’s website, simply head over to the StartPage search engine and type in the VPN you are interested in.
When the search results appear, click the relevant result using the “Anonymous View” feature. The website will now load via StartPage’s proxy – allowing you to use the website, subscribe, and download the VPN application onto your machine.
Why can’t I log in to my VPN application?
Some ISPs, such as Virgin Media, choose to include VPN websites in their default filtering. This is to stop children from being able to bypass those age-centric website restrictions easily.
If you are a Virgin Media subscriber and you can’t log in to your VPN provider’s VPN app, this is almost certainly because you have not yet contacted Virgin Media to ask for the default filtering to be switched off. We recommend that you turn this filtering off, because it will allow you to log in to any VPN app.
However, the VPNs we have included in this article do not suffer from the kinds of blocks that stop you being able to log in to their apps. As a result, once you have downloaded and installed the VPN apps for any of the recommendations in this article; you will be able to login to those services to use them.
If you want to access VPN websites, adult content, or gambling sites – and you have a new Virgin Media connection still in its default state – you need to contact Virgin Media to ask them to disable that filtering.
If you are an account holder and you pay for your subscription, this can easily be achieved by either logging into your account and disabling the filters, or contacting Virgin Media support by telephone to ask them to remove the blocks. Once those blocks are disabled, you can access VPN websites. You will also be able to log in to your VPN account using the VPN software.
If you live in shared accommodation where the internet is provided by your landlord, it is possible that the internet will still be in its default state. As a result, you cannot access VPN websites and other age-restricted services. If this is the case, you need to contact the account holder (your landlord) to ask them to remove the child filters.
If your landlord refuses (or forgets) to remove those blocks, you can actually use a VPN to get around Virgin Media’s default filters. You may wonder how this is possible if you can’t actually visit any of the VPN websites recommended in this article. That is a fair question, and the answer is that there are three possible methods for you to get the VPN subscription:
- Leave your house and subscribe to the VPN on public WiFi or in a friend’s house. On public WiFi, you will can access VPN websites, leaving you free to subscribe to a VPN and download the software. Once you have logged into the VPN client on your mobile device or laptop it will work, even when you go home and use your Virgin Media WiFi. Be careful when using public WiFi, however, as there can be risks to consider.
- Use a proxy website or browser extension to access the VPN’s website and subscribe. As long as you stick to one of the VPNs in this guide, you will be able to subscribe to the VPN and download the client using a proxy. And, because the VPNs in this guide all allow you to log in to the software – even on a default Virgin Media account – you can get the VPN up and running without leaving your house.
- Use a free VPN that works on Virgin Media to subscribe and login to a premium VPN. This is another workaround that has been known to help (as long as you use a free service that will let you log in from your Virgin Media account). To use this method, download a free app or browser extension and connect to a server. Now, launch your paid VPN app and log in using your credentials. As soon as your paid VPN logs in, disconnect your temporary free VPN, and you are ready to use your paid VPN.
If a free VPN works, why can’t I just use that?
This is a good question, and the answer is that you can. However, a free services are usually limited, and some can be outright dangerous
Most free services do not provide the level of privacy and security you get with a premium service. They do not unblock online accounts and services such as Netflix US, hulu, etc. And they have download restrictions, server location restrictions, and connection speed limitations. The ones that seem too good to be true usually are, by either collecting information you or putting you in danger – so it's best to stick to our free VPN recommendations.
No. Although Virgin Media blocks some VPN websites and apps, they do not block all VPNs. The VPN services that we have recommended above aren't blocked by Virgin Media and so you will be able to download them easily.
Yes. In both the UK and the US, Virgin Media customers experience some bandwidth throttling. Depending on where you live, Virgin Media may use bandwidth throttling to ease congestion on its network.
This is most common in areas where internet usage surges at certain times of the day, putting a strain on the network. The result of this throttling is that Virgin Media subscribers will have slightly slower speeds than they usually encounter at other times of the day.
A VPN encrypts your data so that Virgin Media can no longer detect exactly what you are doing online. This makes it much harder for the ISP to throttle users who are streaming Netflix or YouTube, downloading P2P, or connecting to resource intensive game servers.
Besides providing online privacy and allowing you to bypass website censorship imposed by Virgin Media on behalf of the government, a VPN can allow you to conceal your IP address from the websites you visit. This allows you to conceal your actual location.
It also permits you to pretend to be in a different country, to bypass geo-restrictions and use country-specific services. Below we have included a list of the kinds of things you can do with a VPN:
- Access blocked streaming websites like 123Movies and Putlockers
- Access torrenting repositories and download torrents in privacy
- Unblock Netflix US, hulu, HBO Go, or any other geo-restricted service from around the globe
- Use geo-restricted services from the UK, even when you go on holiday or travel for business
- Use public WiFi privately and with added security against cybercriminals